January 8, 2011

A wintry poem and my love for Pennsylvania

This photo was taken by me in our field behind our house just after a big snowfall.
The house in this photo is actually our neighbor's.
It's very old and very beautiful, built with crimson red brick.
The tiny little snowflakes and poem were added using Picnik.com, a free photo editing program that I use for most of my photos.
I don't have Photoshop, so it comes in handy.

I love this poem, January...by John Updike!
It precisely captures the cold, grey wintry days of January in Pennsylvania.
John Updike grew up in Pennsylvania..and that is why I love his poetry..I can appreciate his descriptions about the months of the year because I've lived it.
It's my life.

I know that winters in my state can be long..and cold..and grey..but there's something about Pennsylvania that I just dearly love.

Pennsylvania is good, Pennsylvania is life, it's earthy, it's farms and farmers, dairy cows and corn fields, it's rolling acres, mountains and valleys, it's family and friends, it's school yards and churches, it's deer and wild turkeys, groundhogs and squirrels, it's pheasant and duck and raccoons and possum, it's fishing and hunting and skiing and camping, it's 4 seasons..winter, spring, summer and fall, it's icicles and snow, it's daffodils and crocuses, it's Sunrise service on Easter morning, it's green grass and swimming in the lake, fireworks and picnics, it's heat and rain and high humidity, it's garden grown corn, fresh picked tomatoes still warm from the sun, it's pumpkins, gourds, and trick or treat, it's giant orange harvest moons, it's ponds and lakes and creeks and dams, it's state parks and county fairgrounds, it's parades and festivals of every ethnic background, it's blue collar workers and mom and pop corner stores, it's libraries and fire halls, weddings and funerals, it's Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, World War II veterans and new recruits too, it's meatloaf and mashed potatoes, homemade bread and fruit pies, it's maple syrup and wildflower honey, it's pine trees and oaks...it's Pennsylvania, home to good folks. Pennsylvania is good, Pennsylvania is life!

Ok, that there was written by me...just now, off the top of my head, not pre-planned, just from my heart and my soul. Now you know just a little bit about what makes Pennsylvania a special place. Even now as I write, there's so much more that's coming to my mind...but I'll leave it at that.

That's me in the photo below...enjoying the snow. Have you ever fallen back into a foot or more of snow? It's quite comfortable.


  1. Bonnie, I love the way you did that photos with the poem... I am inspired to do my own version now:) Thank you for the great idea. And Pennsylvania sounds like a wonderful place!

  2. Lovely poem from John Updike, and lovely pics too. And I adore your poem about your state. Are you sure you don't work for the Penn tourism division? :) I would love to visit your state some day - it sounds perfect. I have fallen backwards into snow more times than I can count. It's surprisingly comfy too. And so so quiet. Go ahead and make an angel while you're there too.
    Thanks for sharing your corner of the world with us Bonnie!

  3. I LOVED it!! How fun to read!! Especially for one who hasn't traveled to many places. .and never Pennsylvania. .though I was thinking about YOU earlier today when I tapped into the weather channel to see the big snowy weekend planned by God. . .What a cool thing to make friends across the WORLD. .for no good reason at all. I LOVE technology. .and your snow pictures! If you wouldn't mind sharing a little snow. .I have some kids that would LOOOOOVE it!

  4. Wow! What a beautiful photo of your home. And that poem, where do you come up with such creative ideas! I am so jealous! You and your boys are going to love that photo of you in the snow for years to come!

  5. Beautiful pictures!

    Is it really weird to admit that I swore I saw snowflakes falling in the first picture? I thought it was one of those blinky, flashy, pictures. Then when I read it was actually your picture I had to scroll up to see it again. Of course this time the flakes were not falling. :)

    Stay warm!

  6. Martha Complex, you probably did see snowflakes falling...i added a "snowing" feature on my blog. I got it from Shabby Blogs. It would be hard to tell on the one photo, but if you scroll down to my other posts, you will see the tiny snowflakes fluttering down across my blog. I will probably leave that particular feature on my blog for a few weeks...cause it's very snowy here and so...I am in a snowy kinda mood. :) thanks for noticing! You're the first person to say anything! good eye!

  7. I love this post! I completely agree with it all, living in PA too. And I'm an Updike fan too, even if he wasn't from PA. I think he captures the feeling of winter here so well.

  8. Hi Kathleen! I forgot that you were from PA. I remember now that I saw that on your blog. I am so glad you loved my post about Pennsylvania. I just wanted to tell you that I know that John Updike lived in Danver, Mass. where he passed away. But, he was born and raised in PA. He was born in Reading PA and grew up in a little town close to there called Shillington where he lived until he was 18 years old. Here's one of his quotes: "the area around Shillington and Reading provided almost all of my impressions of life until I was 18 years old. Though I left Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania has never left me. It figures in much of my work."
    I figured that is why I liked his poetry so much. It is so awesome to have someone desribe something so well, that you can completely relate to. The poems that I have posted from time to time is from his book "A Child's Calendar". I stumbled across this book at the library one day while looking for books for my children and I instantly fell in love with it. You would think that I would own this book, but I don't. I have checked it out of the library several times....I really need to buy it. I don't know what I'm waiting for! LOL Good to hear from you, a fellow Pennsylvanian!

  9. Hi Bonnie,
    I think I can finally post on your blog. Isn't living in PA fun? We get all kinds of good weather. I haven't heard that poem before and really like it. Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you come back again.

  10. Hi Bonnie,
    Just wanted to drop by to say hi. I'm missing your posts. Hope all is well.
    Take care,

  11. Hi there. Hope you and family are fine. Miss your post too. Later.

  12. Yes...I agree...Pennsylvania is a great place to live! :)